Krsna Kirtana Songs est. 2001†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† www.kksongs.org
The esraj is a bowed stringed instrument used in Northeast and central India. This is essentially a cross between a sitar, sarangi, and sarod. It contains the neck and fretting style of the sitar, the soundboard similar to the sarod, and the playing action of the sarangi. This instrument was created to alleviate the difficulties that arise when playing sarangi. For example, this instrumentís strings are all metal, as opposed to sarangiís gut strings. A great majority of playing can be done on one string, as opposed to two or sometimes three strings with sarangi. The frets help one locate notes. While the moveable frets of the esraj are similar to those of a sitar, it does not arch very high and it does not function for ornamentation. Ornamentation is achieved by sliding up and down the fingerboard.
This instrument is most an accompanying instrument, although it is slowly gaining its reputation as a potential solo instrument.
UPDATED: March 12, 2012